Swimmer Profile – Martin Banks
Congratulations to Martin Banks (QUQ), our newly elected Director of Recording.
Martin has been involved with Masters Swimming Queensland since joining in 2011. He started the University of Queensland Masters Club and has built it into the strong club it is today. Martin has extensive experience with the running of swim meets, the use and administration of entry management systems and a thorough knowledge of the operations of MSQ. He has been a competitive swimmer since his junior years, and still enjoys competing at Swimming Australia meets in addition to Masters’ meets. Martin has worked for nearly 30 years in the IT industry and is currently with the Queensland Department of Education. He leads a team of system integration specialists developing data/information interfaces. He specialises in systems analysis, design, information management and application development.
Swimming, fitness and sport are a passion of mine, and I have been a swimmer for the majority of my life. I have been a Masters swimmer since 2011 and a member of the University of Queensland Masters Swimming Club (QUQ) since its inception in 2013. My club swimming started later in life at 13 as a junior on the Gold Coast representing a number of clubs. I competed through to age 26 in Brisbane at a national club and university level. I loved competition, bettering my times and working very hard with the average training session exceeding 10km.
I rediscovered swimming while watching my very young son Ethan starting his first mini-squad session. I joined the local school pool adult fitness squad and knew I was home. The floods moved me on from that squad and I found my way to the UQ pool as it reopened in 2012, and soon after worked with coaching staff to develop the QUQ club. My weekly routine includes pool training five morning, gym sessions three mornings both at UQ, plus a small amount of daily cycling to and from work. The only things that holds me back, like everyone, are aging knees and shoulders that flare up here and there.
Even after all these years, my passion is still to compete. I look for meets at all levels of swimming, including UQ club nights, National and International Masters level meets, and Swimming Australia (SA) meets. I have qualified to swim at Brisbane and Queensland level meets for the past three years, entering various Preparations, Sprint and Short Course events. I love the challenge of competing with those in my age group, but also those of similar pace regardless of age. In 2018 I swam in 18 meets at all levels. I want to be an example to show Masters Swimmers that they can also swim at SA meets.
My best Masters swimming achievements:
- Developing UQ Club and the UQ Sprint meet – we’ve come a long way in just seven years;
- In 2018 breaking 15 Australian and 24 Queensland records, as well as achieving 2 individual Fina World top 10 rankings;
- Working to introduce and improve a number of aspects of MSQ meets with the aim to be closer aligned with other swimming bodies;
- Meeting the many wonderful people around Queensland and across the country, sharing a love for fitness and swimming, and healthy competition.
I do not really have a favourite event or distance. I am probably better known for my backstroke and medley swimming, but if I am fit enough, one of my favourite events/results has been the 100 fly with a PB of 1:02 swum at Brisbane Short Course Championships, and a 27 for 50 fly at the Queensland Short Course Championships – both at the age of 50. I always thought I was a sprinter but I am often told (Sean!) that I am a 200m swimmer – sigh… from time to time I attempt to embrace the horror. I have also been known to throw in a sneaky breaststroke race. I love short course! Give me a short course meet any day!
I am looking forward to taking on this role and working to transform the Recording and Systems functions together. MSQ has some very good systems and programs in place and I want to see them consolidated and extended. This will contribute to the improvement of meets and results, and the user experience for our clubs and swimmers. My hands-on swimming experience at and around meets, the relationships I have built with swimmers, officials, coaches and organisations of all levels, and my analytical and creative approaches from my work in IT systems, projects and management will be key in reaching all my goals for this role.